It’s only March and we have a lot of golf to be played before Captain Tom Watson makes his three selections to complete the 2014 Ryder Cup Team. Yet wins by young guns Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Russell Henley have us wondering what Watson’s Ryder Cup team will actually look like.
Many thought Team USA was taking shape for the future with the performances of Jason Dufner, Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson and Webb Simpson at Medinah. These four players were believed to represent the future of American golf, eventually carrying the torch of Furyk, Mickelson, Stricker and even Woods.
Interestingly enough the youth of the 2012 Ryder Cup team is in prime position to return in 2014. Dustin Johnson sits 2nd on the Ryder Cup Points Standings headed into the WGC Doral. Jason Dufner is 5th, Bubba Watson is 7th and Webb Simpson is 8th. Ryder Cup veterans, Phil Mickelson is 3rd and Zach Johnson is 6th.
The clear cut surprise of the year has been Jimmy Walker who catapulted to the top spot with his recent hot streak. He’s all but assured a spot on the 2014 United States team.
Imagine however a team that could include PGA Tour newcomers, Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Patrick Reed and Russell Henley. All but Spieth have already won multiple times on the PGA Tour and if not for a loss to Patrick Reed in a playoff, Spieth would join the others as having won multiple titles. Spieth actually has 4 runner-up finishes in his 30 PGA Tour starts to go with his one victory since 2013.
So for the sake of dreaming, here’s a Ryder Cup team to consider:
3. Z. Johnson
4. D. Johnson
5. K. Bradley
6. W. Simpson
8. B. Watson
9. J. Walker
12. Henley / English
Hunter Mahan is a hard player to leave off the team, but it’s going to take solid performances on golf’s biggest stage to get worked back into this mix. Matt Kuchar is the other player I’d like to see on the team, especially given his demeanor in difficult situations. Kuch would be a great person to pair with one of the Ryder Cup Rookies.
As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of golf to be played, including the four major championships before Tom Watson is forced to make his decision. Time will tell which players make this team based on merit and which ones are left hoping.